Best Musical of The 73th Annual Tony Awards, Hadestown was premiered on Broadway in April 2019. From a DIY community theatre workshop in 2006 to Broadway this musical is a reimagining of the infamous Greek Mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice. Composed by Anais Mitchell, Hadestown received 14 nominations and snatched 8 awards at the Tony’s after more than a decade of evolution. Following Orpheus and Eurydice, there are also the conflict happening with Hades and Persephone. Eva Noblezada as Eurydice and Amber Gray as Persephone these leading ladies of Hadestown gave a powerful performance and gave a twist of personality in their character that slightly differs from the traditional myth. Both earned nominations, and while neither won, the significance of their work speaks for itself.
Some of the awards won by this musical were rare victories for women. Jessica Paz, who won for Best Sound Design of a Musical with Nevin Steinberg, was the first woman to be nominated in the category, while Anais Mitchell became the second solo women to win best score. Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin, who won Best Musical Director is the only women directing a musical on Broadway this season. She was also the only women nominated in the category and was the fourth women to ever accept an award in this category. “I wish I wasn’t the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this year,” she said and continued with, “There are so many women who are ready to go. There are so many artists of color who are ready to go. And we need to see that racial diversity and gender diversity reflected in our critical establishment, too,”.
Hadestown gives out hope for other young girls to pursue a career in an industry dominated by males.
Not only is it a win for women, the track for this musical gives a jab to the political side of things with the song ‘Why We Build the Wall’. Anais Mitchell assured it is not intentional seeing it was written ten years ago. ‘Walls’ have been used as metaphor many times. In this story the wall is representing the barrier made by workers in Hadestown to keep others out, believing to be ‘the wealthy’ and the other side of the wall ‘the poor’ which leads to Eurydice’s choice to venture to the Underworld to survive poverty in exchange with her freedom.
They also touch on topics ranging from the destruction of the environment to the dangers of absolute power. Hades is written a the exploitative CEO of toiling miners, whom he has granted “security” in exchange for their freedom. In his quest for power and dominance, Hades oppresses his true love, Persephone, who comes to represent our currently mistreated Mother Earth.
If you know this myth you’ll know it will be a tragic love story. But going by Producer Mara Isaacs words, “If Hadestown stands for anything, it’s that change is possible. In dark times, spring will come again,”.